Archive for the ‘Plastic Surgeon’ Category

Book Explores Socioeconomics of Plastic Surgery in America

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Many have tried to explain the reasons for America’s growing interest in cosmetic surgery, positing theories that range from broad cultural trends to more personal, psychological motives.  In a new book by sociologist Laurie Essig, the author offers up yet another theory behind the nip-and-tuck movement: Reganomics.

“American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards and Our Quest for Perfection” is an examination of the aesthetics industry that begins with a look at the socio-economic forces of the early 80s.

The author touches on topics such as capitalism, individualism, the desire for self-improvement and consumer lending – all of which, she reportedly argues, have contributed to the rise of cosmetic surgery as people seek a solution to personal economic insecurity.

“140 potential patients she spoke with claimed they were planning to go under the knife as a response to economic insecurity. Some were afraid of losing their jobs; others felt they needed to disguise their age to secure a new position” writes journalist June Thomas of Bloomberg Business Week, who recently gave the book 2.5 stars in a review.

Along with patients, Lessig spoke to surgeons from IPRAS (International Confederation for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery) and ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) during the creation of her book. You can currently read several pages of it online at

16th Century Book Describes Early Rhinoplasty Surgery

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

bookA rare book published in 1597 describes the rhinoplasty technique of Gaspare Tagliacozzi, a professor of surgery at the University of Bologna. According to the UK Telegraph, the book was recently purchased by a plastic surgeon at auction for 11,000 British pounds (about 17,000 U.S. dollars).

Inside the book, De Curtorum Chirurgia Per Insitionem, you can read about (in Latin) and view illustrations of the earliest rhinoplasty techniques. The doctor would reconstruct the nose by attaching a tissue flap from the patient’s arm. He also had methods for surgical reconstruction of the ears and lips. Tagliacozzi’s techniques were typically employed for treating war injuries.

A frequently cited quotation of Tagliacozzi:

“We bring back, refashion and restore to wholeness the features that nature gave but chance destroyed, not that they may be an advantage to the living soul, not as a mean artifice but as an alleviation of illness, not as becomes charlatans but as becomes good physicians and followers of the great Hippocrates. For though the original beauty is indeed restored . . . the end for which the physician is working is that the features should fulfill their offices according to nature’s decree.”

If you missed the auction or if you’re one of the losing bidders, here’s some consolation: there are 3 new translated versions of the book (Surgery of Defects by Implantations) available through the online bookseller .

Study Looks at Patient Satisfaction After Facelift

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Women and men who undergo facial rejuvenation surgery can experience a significant reduction in apparent age, as well as an improvement in self-esteem and quality of life, according to a study appearing in the next Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal.

“Patient satisfaction and the effects of surgery on quality of life are the most important determinants of surgical success,” writes plastic surgeon Eric Swanson M.D.  To evaluate these outcomes, the doctor interviewed 93 patients during a follow-up appointment one month after facial rejuvenation.

All patients had a deep plane facelift, but part of the group had also undergone brow lift, endoscopic brow lift and blepharoplasty during the same operation. The group ranged in age from 35 – 52 years.

After patient interviews, the doctor evaluated the results and published the following positive statistics:

  • 96.7 percent said they looked younger after surgery (average 11.9 years younger) and the results met their expectations (40 percent said it exceeded expectations).
  • 93.5 percent said they would recommend facial rejuvenation to others
  • 82.8 percent reported improved self-esteem and 69.6 percent reported improved quality of life.

An abstract of this study is available on Pubmed or through the ASPS journal.

LA Times Explores Marketing of “Stem Cell Facelifts”

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Last month, the Los Angeles Times published an article about “stem cell facelifts,” procedures that reportedly lack clinical evidence supporting recent claims made about their success.

The stem cell facelift basically involves facial injections of stem cell-enriched fat, according to the article.

Since then, major plastic surgery societies, bloggers and doctors on took notice and echoed the same skeptical question: Exactly how do stem cells improve the results of a facelift?

“Stem cells have incredible potential. But nobody knows exactly what they do. So they’re marketed to do everything,” said plastic surgeon Dr. Michael McGuire to the Times.

Both the Aesthetic Society and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons praised the article and advised any patients considering facial rejuvenation to avoid stem cell facelifts as well as other “fad procedures” that lack clinical evidence demonstrating their effectiveness.

There are several additional reasons to avoid the stem cell facelift marketing pitch. First, fat injections (facial fat grafting) can achieve a good cosmetic outcome without the use (or cost) of stem cells. Second, the long-term results of stem cell procedures are not known.  Last but not least, as a biologic product, stem cell enriched fat may require FDA approval, which it does not currently have.

Some incredible developments may be on the horizon for stem cells in cosmetic medicine, but according to industry experts, we have not yet reached that point.

Read the article via LA Times

Plastic Surgeons Will Meet This Weekend for Annual ASPS Conference

Monday, September 27th, 2010

October 1st will kick off the annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  Held in Toronto, Ontario, the October 1-5 conference will be attended by plastic surgeons and physicians from all around the world.

Presentations will focus on the hottest plastic surgery topics, technologies and current research.  Attendance could surpass 5,000 plastic surgeons, along with other doctors, nurses, exhibitors and professionals involved in the plastic surgery field.

“Plastic Surgery 2010 is the complete plastic surgery experience featuring the latest information on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery techniques,” said ASPS President Michael McGuire, MD.

The meeting will serve as a first ‘congress of plastic surgery’ whereby international and U.S. physicians can easily come together to investigate and refine new techniques, review the safety and effectiveness of devices and procedures, and explore emerging trends in plastic surgery, ” adds Dr. McGuire.

A roundtable event will feature plastic surgeons sharing their experiences in Haiti, as they volunteered during relief efforts after the January 2010 earthquake.  According to the ASPS, many plastic surgeons are still actively engaged in the Haiti relief effort.

Read more about the meeting on

Cosmetic Surgery Market Could Nearly Double By 2017

Monday, September 27th, 2010

By 2017, the market for cosmetic surgery, aesthetic services, and laser treatments may exceed 3 billion dollars in revenue, according to medical research firm iData Research.

Fueled by new botulinum toxin drugs, facial fillers, laser treatments and light based aesthetic treatments, the market could nearly double in size within a few years. Competition between pharmaceutical companies will intensify and drive growth further as new companies enter the market, say researchers.

Allergan, maker of Botox®, Juvederm and Latisse, will no longer have a monopoly on botulinum toxin, as Dysport® and the new PurTox® claim a greater share of the U.S. aesthetics market.

You can read more about the report, “Markets for Cosmetic Surgery, Facial Aesthetics and Medical Laser Devices 2011″ from or in the official press release.

Raffles and Contests Present Ethical Dilemmas for Plastic Surgeons

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

A new reality series on E! is said to offer plastic surgery procedures  as prizes for soon-to-be brides prior to their wedding day.  The show, “Bridalplasty” is the latest television program to feature plastic surgery, and some say it presents the “most shocking” premise yet.

via ABC news:

Each week, a group of women competes head-to-head in such challenges as writing wedding vows and planning honeymoons.  The winner receives the chance to choose a plastic surgery procedure from her “wish list.” She’s given the procedure immediately, and results are shown at the start of the following week’s episode.

Is it ethical to give away plastic surgery as a prize?  Professional organizations such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons say it is not and prohibit their members from participating in a raffle or contest in which the prize is a plastic surgery procedure (a treatment requiring an incision).  The ethical objections stem primarily from the possibility that a winner of the contest would not be a suitable or safe candidate for surgery.

Some medical practitioners are not governed by such ethical principles, especially outside the United States.  It’s becoming more and more common to see contests and raffles for procedures that have a broad public appeal, such as breast augmentation for example.

According to Reuters, a Venezuelan political candidate running for office in the National Assembly is raffling off a breast augmentation procedure in an attempt to raise funds for his campaign.  The candidate reportedly went on record saying that the raffle was nothing more than a “financing mechanism.”

Although the winner of such a contest could achieve good results from surgery, raffles and contests are not acceptable replacements for proper patient selection.  If you’re considering breast augmentation, seek out a board certified plastic surgeon who is practicing in accordance with a specific and reputable code of ethics.

International Survey of Plastic Surgeons Uncovers Worldwide Trends

Monday, August 16th, 2010

The first international survey of plastic surgeons has been completed, providing data on the worldwide number of cosmetic procedures performed in 2009 by board certified plastic surgeons.  Thanks to ISAPS, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, we can now better understand the growth of this medical specialty.

The most popular cosmetic surgery, according to the data, is liposuction, followed by breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty and tummy tuck.  Although procedures varied among different countries, the U.S., Brazil, China, Mexico, India and Japan represented the bulk of the top five surgical procedures.  The total estimated number of cosmetic procedures performed by board-certified (or equivalent) plastic surgeons was 17,295,557.

Interestingly, plastic surgeons reported more non-surgical procedures than surgical procedures, with the most common treatment being botulinum toxin injections (Botox or Dysport).

The survey data was released in time for the 20th Biennial Congress of ISAPS, which is taking place right now in San Francisco.  Read more on or

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